I’ve always loved buildings

I have always loved buildings. Buildings of all shapes and sizes. From Yurts to high rises, there is something about them that just plain interests me.

There are so many details that go into designing a structure, even a simple one. The amount of detail that must go into creating a 100 story building is mind boggling. Imagine how many people it must take to design all the little components that make up a massive structure like that, and how many other people it must take to verify that all of those little pieces are fitting together correctly.

And in the end you are either left with a utilitarian eye sore, or a functional thing of beauty.

It is a pity that in these days of profit maximization the glass fronted box has become the epitome of responsible corporate design. And even when it’s not, the experiments in modern design are often ungainly and unattractive monstrosities.

Where are the cathedrals of our day? The Chrysler buildings? Th Taj Mahals? It is a shame that all of the architectural wonders that societies used to create to announce their greatness to the world no longer seem to be important to us. I miss those wonders that will stand the centuries long test of time. I suspect that Westminster Abby will be standing long after the buildings of our age have collapsed into ruin.

Well, those questions are beyond me. I will stick with trying to design a small home suitable for an old bachelor with limited funds. To be honest, the idea of affordable housing has always been of interest to me, perhaps even more so since the housing crash, when it became obvious that not all people should own a home, and certainly people don’t tiny house with glass frontneed the huge homes they have come to desire.

The tiny home is a reaction to that, but in many ways it misses the boat. What started out as a way to save moneyseems to have become a way to make a statement. Since when is building a home that costs $500 – $1000 a square foot a good idea? It’s just conspicuous consumption on a different scale.

I believe the key to building affordable housing is to import some of the efficiency ideas from manufacturing and use them as much as possible in construction. I think panels are probably the way to go, with as much use of power tools as possible.

Nail the wood with pneumatic nailers. Paint the walls inside and out with high volume electric paint spray guns. Use steel roof panels and screw them down with cordless drills.

And if most of that can be done in a panelized fashion in a climate controlled facility to much the better. The tiny house revolution should stay one of concentrating on affordable housing, not on tiny opulence.

It’s hardly patting yourself on the back for giving up creature comforts when you get your water from gold plated faucets.